INDIANAPOLS — All week long, the big talk around Indianapolis — other than everyone chatting about Peyton Manning's future with the Colts — was being done by the Giants. The NFC champs were loud and confident from the moment they arrived last Monday through Sunday morning, when DT Chris Canty predicted a 28-17 victory by his team on Twitter. He deleted the tweet soon after, in a likely attempt to backtrack from his bold proclamation, but the message he and his teammates were conveying was one of self-assurance about their chances in Super Bowl XLVI.
Earlier in the week, Canty had said that Giants fans "should get ready for a parade on Tuesday" following a Super Bowl win. RB Brandon Jacobs said he agreed with his teammates' statements, and a host of other Giants players chose to ignore head coach Tom Coughlin's mantra that "talk is cheap." Big Blue was ready, and the players were not afraid to let everyone know how prepared they were.
On Sunday night, the Giants defended their chatter with a thrilling 21-17 victory over the Patriots. It's New York's second Super Bowl title in four years, both of which came over New England. Many took the team as being overconfident, when, in fact, it was just a team prepared to dominate on the world's grandest stage.
"We had to go out there and just get back to basics and be relentless and understand this game wasn't going to be easy," said Giants safety Antrel Rolle, one of the most talkative Giants all week long. "We just had to go out there and play ball and just rally it and do the best we could."
The team sure lived up to the talk. QB Eli Manning completed 75 percent of his passes en route to winning Super Bowl MVP. The Giants, who had the worst rushing attack in the NFL during the season, ran for 114 yards and the game-winning score. Their defense sacked Tom Brady twice and forced him into a safety on the Patriots' first offensive play of the game. Even P Steve Weatherford was dominant, booming four punts, three of which were downed inside the New York 10-yard line.
Trash talking is done all the time in sports, for a variety of reasons. Some felt the Giants were displaying so much confidence through the media because they were trying to psyche themselves up, a strategy that had failed horribly for their crosstown brethren, the Jets. In fact, it was the opposite. The Giants were talking because they knew that they were the better team and weren't ashamed to let the world know it. The Patriots may have hade the superior record, a more accomplished quarterback and the greatest coach of the generation, but that made little difference to the Giants.
Few will remember the talking done by the Giants all week long; it's only relevent that they were better on the field. New York became the first team to go 9-7 in the regular season and win the Super Bowl, and the fifth team in the past seven years to win the Lombardi Trophy after starting their playoff run on wild-card weekend. Like the Packers last year, the Giants finished the season on a six-game winning streak, including the playoffs.
As the Giants are now likely to remind everybody, they are champions of the football world. And now nobody, not even Canty, can delete that from the history books.